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The 2021 Ulster Senior Football Championship will begin on June 27 2021.
All nine counties of Ulster will take part in the tournament, including defending champions, Cavan.
The Anglo-Celt could change hands this year after a poor league campaign from the champions.
However, there will be several sides vying for the Ulster crown.
— Ulster GAA (@UlsterGAA) April 20, 2021
A preliminary round will take place to bring the number down to eight for the provincial quarter-finals.
Down and Donegal will contest the first game of the 2021 Ulster Championship.
Both sides fell to Cavan last year at the semi-final and final stages respectively.
The winner of the tie will face Rory Gallagher’s Derry.
Paddy Tally’s Down struggled in the National Football League Division Two North.
A convincing win over Laois assured the side of their Division Two status for 2022.
However, Down will want better results if they are to reach the final this year.
Tired displays against Mayo and Meath spell disaster for Down.
Rory Burns has been a bright spark for the Mourne County in 2021.
However, the poor defending in front of him has led to high scores for the opposition.
The team will be in trouble if they have similar struggles against sides stronger than Meath in Ulster.
But Donegal has not been fantastic so far this year either.
A confident showing against a dangerous Tyrone side was a promising start to the year.
However, defensive frailties were exposed against Monaghan and Dublin.
In addition, Tyrone amassed 12 wides in their game against Donegal.
Hypothetically, converting three of them would have won the game for Feargal Logan and Brian Dooher’s side.
Furthermore, a lacklustre showing against a Dublin yet to reach top gear cemented a disappointing league campaign for the 2012 All-Ireland winners.
Yet, Donegal’s attack is one of the best in the country and has kept the side in games that they were slipping away from.
Championship football may not be so kind but the match-up of a strong attack against a defence at odds with itself provides only one conclusion.
Predicted winner: Donegal
By How Much?: 10 points